AG Bell Launches the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center

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Trusted Internet Resource Provides Information on Hearing Loss for Families, Individuals and Professionals

The Knowledge Center will provide accurate, cutting-edge information about hearing loss, listening and spoken language, technologies and strategies for intervention.

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing launched the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center, the essential Internet resource for parents of children with hearing loss, individuals with hearing loss and professionals who serve them.

Content on the Knowledge Center will be focused on guiding parents through the stages that their children will experience as they grow up with hearing loss. At launch, content will focus on new parents who have children from birth to four years old, who may have just received a diagnosis of hearing loss. It will include tips and strategies, downloadable checklists and tools, information about hearing loss and listening and spoken language, and captioned videos and support letters from real parents.

Parents often feel a sense of crisis after learning that their child did not pass a newborn hearing screening or is identified with a hearing loss. The Knowledge Center will not only inform, but it will show through audiovisual content, that children who are deaf and hard of hearing are listening and talking and demonstrating communication skills—they are learning and thriving in the mainstream.

In addition, a comprehensive directory will put parents of children with hearing loss in contact with a variety of listening and spoken language resources in their area, including programs and organizations, products and services, and professionals with the expertise to assist their child.

“As a professional in education administration,” said Kathleen Treni, M.Ed., M.A., AG Bell president, “I have observed that families often turn to the Internet to learn about issues. They come to appointments or to our schools or clinics loaded with information – which is sometimes completely or at least partially inaccurate. The Knowledge Center will provide accurate, cutting-edge information about hearing loss, listening and spoken language, technologies and strategies for intervention.”

For professionals, a high level of content and user-friendly material will be available. Checklists, videos, interactive guides and step-by-step strategies will add a level of value to help guide new professionals and provide new tools for existing ones. The site promotes evidence-based practice with new research in the field.

The exciting advances in hearing technology and early hearing detection are giving parents the information they need from the start to help their children with hearing loss thrive, noted Donald M. Goldberg, Ph.D., LSLS Cert. AVT, AG Bell president elect. “In this time of tremendous change in our field, I truly believe that AG Bell is the “go-to” place for information and resources on working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing who use listening and spoken language, as well as a source of support for their families.”

The Knowledge Center will provide its users with a completely customized experience specifically targeted to the needs of professionals and parents on the go. The website is powered with enhanced search capabilities and built with responsive design to make content readable and accessible on all mobile phones and tablets.

The AG Bell Association partnered with The Helen Beebe Speech and Hearing Center through a generous grant to fund the development of The Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center. The Knowledge Center will have a special section devoted to the history and influence of Helen Beebe, a pioneer in the field of listening and spoken language and mentor to many professionals in the field today.

“Helen Beebe blazed the trail and The Helen Beebe Speech and Hearing Center became a leading provider for what became the auditory-verbal therapy approach,” said Robert Bush, who serves as a longtime board member and president of the board of directors. “The Knowledge Center will honor the legacy of Helen Beebe by providing information, resources and support to families and professionals all over the world.”

About the AG Bell Association

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive. With chapters located in the United States and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell supports its mission: Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking! Visit the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center at http://www.listeningandspokenlanguage.org.

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